In her seminal book A Creator's Guide To Transmedia Storytelling, Andrea Phillips describes transmedia creators as taking different media, and "learning how to spin these platforms together into complex, integrated works in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts."
So what exactly does this mean?
For me, what Andrea Phillips is saying is that we live in a world where our media is increasingly fragmented. This is not disrupting storytelling, but rather allowing us to fit different pieces of a narrative together in new and exciting ways.
It has been greatly helped by the possibilities that new media offers us in terms of ease of distribution and production. At its core, Giant Cannibals has been a relatively expensive and complex production process, and we took a traditional, albeit low budget route when it came to auditions, recording, and post-production.
But this does not have to be the case. Say you mix a story between a Twitter account and a Wordpress blog. Apart from your time, where is the cost? If you can think of a strong enough concept that uses easily available sources, there is no reason why you cannot start a project this afternoon.
This does not make transmedia the “budget” storytelling device. Rather, it exploits the freedom of new media to explore narrative and characterisation in ways that were not possible before. I love how transmedia can expand on the thoughts of a character in a way that would be impossible or boring to show using a more traditional format. Transmedia makes the world of your story take place in an ever more believable and engaging environment.
Transmedia also allows storytelling to escape from more normal devices. I know it sounds like I'm being facetious, but nothing would excite me more than someone managing to weave a story out of spreadsheets and databases. Why not? They are something that hundreds of people use every day, and by definition they contain a lot of data. And this data is put in by human beings with a mix of problems and emotions, and full control of what goes in. With some clever thought behind it, you could tell any story you wanted, from an office romance to a demonic possession.
This is the possibility of the digital age. Whatever your creative discipline, you have the chance to tell a story your own way. At the very least, I hope that Giant Cannibals can be a testament to that.